Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pilot Program Helps Boost Seniors' Activity Levels, Quality Of Life

Date:
November 19, 2007
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Older adults often carry a deeply ingrained belief that inactive, sedentary lives are an inevitable part of aging. But this mindset is not just wrong, it can be changed -- with positive physical and mental health results. Researchers show that older adults who participated in a pilot test for a program aimed at changing this mindset became more physically active, increasing their walking levels by about 24 percent -- an average increase of 2.5 miles per week.

Older adults often carry a deeply ingrained belief that inactive, sedentary lives are an inevitable part of aging. But this mindset is not just wrong, it can be changed -- with positive physical and mental health results.

Related Articles


In a new UCLA study, researchers show that older adults who participated in a pilot test for a program aimed at changing this mindset became more physically active, increasing their walking levels by about 24 percent -- an average increase of 2.5 miles per week. The study is available on the Web site of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

"We can teach older adults to get rid of those old beliefs that becoming sedentary is just a normal part of growing older," said Dr. Catherine Sarkisian, assistant professor of geriatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the study's lead author. "We can teach them that they can and should remain physically active at all ages."

The researchers used a technique known as "attribution retraining" to effect a change among study participants about what it means to age and what to expect out of it.

"The exciting part is that, to our knowledge, this attribution retraining component hasn't been tested in a physical activity intervention," Sarkisian said. "It's been very successful in educational interventions."

The researchers worked with 46 sedentary adults age 65 and older from three senior centers in the Los Angeles area. The participants attended four weekly, hour-long group sessions led by a trained health educator who applied an attribution retraining curriculum. The participants were taught to reject the notion that becoming older means becoming sedentary and to accept that they can continue engaging in physical activity well into old age. Each attribution retraining session was followed by a one-hour exercise class that included strength, endurance and flexibility training.

Participants were fitted with electronic pedometers, to be worn at all times, which measured the number of steps they took each week. They also completed surveys that gauged their expectations about aging -- higher scores indicated that participants expected high functioning with aging, while lower scores meant they expected physical and mental decline.

As a result of the program, participants increased the number of steps they took per week from a mean of 24,749 to 30,707 -- a 24 percent increase -- and their scores on the age-expectation survey rose by 30 percent. Also, their mental health-related quality of life improved, and they reported fewer difficulties with daily activities, experienced less pain, had higher energy levels and slept better.

"An intervention combining attribution retraining with a weekly exercise class raised walking levels and improved quality of life in sedentary older adults in this small pre-post community-based pilot study," the researchers wrote. "Attribution retraining deserves further investigation as a potential means of increasing physical activity in sedentary older adults."

Other co-authors were Bernard Weiner of the UCLA Department of Psychology, Thomas R. Prohaska of the department of community health sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago's School of Public Health, and Connie Davis of the Fraser Health Authority in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) through the UCLA Older Americans Independence Center and the UCLA Mentored Clinical Scientist Program in Geriatrics, and an NIA Paul B. Beeson Career Development Award in Aging.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Pilot Program Helps Boost Seniors' Activity Levels, Quality Of Life." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071116094826.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2007, November 19). Pilot Program Helps Boost Seniors' Activity Levels, Quality Of Life. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071116094826.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Pilot Program Helps Boost Seniors' Activity Levels, Quality Of Life." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071116094826.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins